How to Become a Construction Project Manager

In case you already have extensive experience in the construction industry and are planning to streamline your career, then you can opt to become a professional construction manager. However, you may have to attend school and earn a bachelor’s degree in accordance with the Australian Skills Classified Occupation. While there is a high demand for construction project managers, employers do prefer the ones with appropriate training and education, particularly in the fields of civil engineering, construction and management. Though experience is a huge advantage, new managers in the construction industry will find that it is tough to use experience as an alternative for a degree.

Huge firms are in need of project managers to coordinate and take charge of all aspects of large construction projects. As a construction project manager, it is your job to interpret architectural drawings, specifications and bills of quantities; manage employees, procurement and delivery of materials; consult with architects, engineers and other professional and technical workers; negotiate with property developers and subcontractors; make sure the project is progressing within the allotted budget; and ensure strict adherence to building codes and standards of building performance.

With all the aforementioned tasks, it is evident that you need to study building science, business and management techniques before you can actually venture into project management work. Having a formal training in conjunction with hands on experience in the job site will certainly come in handy to tackle all the responsibilities that go with the job. Having a professional training and earning a degree and/or certification is increasingly becoming more popular among construction project managers as it highlights the fact that  they are competent and they have all that is required to get the job done.

Public relations and people skills are of paramount importance as you will be the one on the front lines to represent your company and make sure the clients are satisfied with the deal that has been made with them on the project. This will ensure that clients will stick to your company and hire your services again. You must also be willing and able to travel as large construction companies normally have simultaneous projects all over the country.  It is your main responsibility to coordinate projects and there would be times when you will be required to make project visits or move for a certain period until the project reaches completion.

Get abreast with the latest advances in building technology. Construction companies are now usingconstruction management software to be able to efficiently organize and control the important aspects that go into the building process. This is made possible by the computerization of the key aspects such as plotting the schedule for the construction, document management, correspondence between workers, keeping financial records and so forth. You have to familiarize yourself with the software by taking a refresher course or taking an internship with a professional construction project manager.

Overall, being a project manager is not everyone’s cup of tea. It is a highly competitive job and if you fit into the mold, you may find yourself with the most rewarding job in the world. Imagine yourself driving by a structure that has become an icon and know that you played a big role in its construction. That’s certainly an amazing feeling and a source of peerless pride on your part.

Jul 2010
POSTED IN Steven Macdessi

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